View Full Version : What are the "good years" for Winchester 1894 lever guns?
With S&W revolvers we have the Pre-Lock and pre-MIM years. For Glocks it's pre-2010 or so. Is there an equivalent for Remington's lever actions? Is there a time period when Winchester was making particularly good or particularly bad 1894s? I'm talking from a parts quality and manufacturing attention to detail standpoint.
Anything pre 1964 is considered the standard for Winchesters. My 94s are all pre 1900.
Very cool, I'd love to get my hands on a true pre-1900 gun like that. The ones I'm looking at are a mint 1972 for $400 or a pretty well used 1964 for $325 in .30-30. I haven't seen any pre-64 ones locally.
I would love to see some good pictures of one or two of your old west Winchesters and I'm sure others would too.
It depends on what you're looking for. Pre-WWII guns have gorgeous finishes and superb wood-to-metal fit, but they're expensive when you can find them in decent shape, so they're not the sort of thing you'd take into the deer woods, at least not around here. It's also hard to mount a scope or peep sights on them, but if you want that, it's not hard to find a gun that someone has cut up.
Guns made between WWII and 1964 are also beautifully finished. There are more of them, so they're usually less expensive in similar condition. They also have more modern features, like shotgun buttplates instead of crescent buttplates, which are nice if you plan to shoot them much.
To hear Winchester fans tell it, Satan took over in 1964. Plastic buttplates, pressed checkering, stamped sights, and a lower degree of metal finish start showing up on post-64 guns. They're as usable as any of the earlier guns, and a lot cheaper, but the overal fit and finish just isn't there like on the earlier guns. If you want a shooter, these are the ones to get.
Things start to turn around in the post-94 guns. The wood still isn't as nice as pre-64 wood, but the guns tend to be more accurate, and it's easier to mount scopes and peep sights on them if that's your plan. Here, the real issue is getting one that doesn't have a cross-bolt safety.
If you're really in the market for old Winchesters of any type, check out DJ's Sport Shop in Bothell, WA. Tell them I sent you.
Let me know if you have other questions.
Thanks John, you are the man. I ,ight be able to make it over there today actually. Ill post is I come home with something.
I have a 1894 with a receiver from 1897 that was built and shipped in 1900. Very nice rifle, but I'm getting rid of because all it does is sit in my study and it deserves a good home...
Some of it's been said, but I'll rehash from the beginning due to coming home from a shift and my brainpower is minimal....
In '64 Winchester stopped handfitting their rifles. Satan took over the company, as some would tell it (I laughed at that, thanks!). At any rate, they needed to make their profit margins a bit wider, and rising labor/material costs demanded they cut their losses.
Now, pre-64 is obviously a lovingly handfitted rifle, and they're really beautiful. From 64 until the mid/late 70's, the rifles got a reputation as being crap (and they were, to a point). Winchester again took stock, saw their reputation suffering,and stepped up to the plate.
In short, any pre-64 Winchester that isn't shot out or abused is worth having. Try to steer clear of the 64-mid/late 70's rifles. From 80 til present they're just fine. I have a pre-64 and a late 80's (I think) rifle, and while there are some differences, I love the later one just as much as the older one. The only glaring difference is the stock. There is a reason Winchester leftover stock material sells for a premium. That walnut was gorgeous.
Either way, same rough action on both, and steer clear of the 94's chambered for pistol rounds. It's a 30-30 rehashed for a pistol round, and it simply doesn't work well.
Thanks to all, I love this site.
Any pre-1964 is good but I also have a 1964 made 94 in 30-30 that was probably made from parts made before the infamous Post-63 change. So don't rule out an early 1964 made M94 Winny....they're also GTG.
The main problem with the 94s made after, was the "enhancements" made, such as the safety and angle eject features. The hole in the hammer for mounting the extension spur is equally as ugly. I believe Winchester also added a rebounding hammer in that time period.
The "pre-angle eject" 94s are not bad rifle per se, but just remember that in that time period, the receivers were made of some sort of steel alloy that would not take bluing very well. the change from the original bar stock steel receiver was another of Winchester's infamous Post-64 changes. Still, a 94 made in the early to late 70s is not altogether a bad rifle....just be aware of the receiver material/refinishing issues. These can be had much cheaper than the pre-64 94s but still have not been "uglied up" with the safety or angle eject receiver.
Hope this helps....I own four Winchester lever guns, three Marlins and an early Savage 99....so I love anything levergun! LOL
I have a Model 94 that I believe was made in the 50s based on the serial number. It's a nice gun but I've never shot it.
vBulletin® v3.7.2, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.